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Letter: Teach moral reality

Letter to the editor Deseret News

In the classic noir “The Maltese Falcon,” detective Sam Spade becomes entangled with an attractive woman (Miss Wonderly), only to discover her involvement in murder and venal intrigue.

She suggests her crimes be concealed, citing their mutual attraction. Spade confesses “all of his visceral feelings urge compliance with her request,” but concludes he cannot do so: Matters of higher moral magnitude and long-term consequence demand more consideration.

Somewhat similarly, it is unfortunate the biblical account of Joseph’s flight from Potiphar’s seductive wife doesn’t include the restraining counsel (the higher morality) which Jacob had instilled in his son. One suspects that advice would help when occasions arise wherein inner feelings may strongly urge indulgence in a behavior that, if not fled from, will lead to long-term negative consequences.

To teach only “flight” without acknowledging instinctive feelings that urge unwise behavior may present an unrealistic and abstract concept, leaving the person resigned to the idea he or she is inherently “evil,” rather than addressing the reality of the challenging situation.

Lillian Gardiner